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dealing with a weedy overgrown garden

Discussion in 'In the Garden' started by Ouch77, 25 Jan 2019.

  1. Ouch77

    Ouch77

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    New house. Moved in October time.
    Moderate sized garden, once well kept with a variety of planting (I suspect an older couple with time and enthusiasm for gardening). Neglected and overgrown for the past 2 years or so. Lawn not cut, other stuff run riot, etc. Previous owners started clearing the front and just left it in a heap of dead wood.

    Lots of brambles, ivy and some kind of bulbs (probably a variety) to the front: 20190107_085502.jpg

    Brambles, ivy and what looks like Italian arum all over the back. 20180930_103258.jpg

    I want to level and gravel the front for parking. the rear I want to turn to lawn for the kids. I've managed to clear the front back to ground level, but there's a lot of long matted grass hiding a multitude of treasured (iron spikes, a yard brush, etc), that's resisting my persistent raking. There's also a few high spots where there might have been raised beds -I've hoiked about 1/2 ton of largish stones out of the garden.

    Before I level, should I run a rotivator the front to even the ground out a bit? I intend to lay some geotextile to keep the weeds down, then put 10-20mm gravel down for a short term (2-3yr) fix.

    In the rear I'm a little worried about the copious amount of Arum - which I believe is poisonous, and quite hard to get rid of. I need to level the rear too, and the garage will eventually go - there's a fair bit of bigger work needed long term to get it how I want, but I want this Arum stuff gone first. Would Round-up type weedkiller work on it? If I just bulldoze the whole lot, would it pop back up?

    Any other thoughts?
     
  2. Notch7

    Notch7

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  3. Ouch77

    Ouch77

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    Thanks - will read.

    Low, arrowhead shaped leaves around 6" in length, shiny, darkish green with pale veins, covering a fairly broad patch of garden. I've not spotted any fruit or flowers obviously given the time of year.

    I've got some glyphosphate-y stuff somewhere, I'll dig it out.
     
  4. scbk

    scbk

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    IMO you'd be best getting the front dug out and put down hardcore/scalpings/type 1. You can lay paving or gravel etc at a later date


    Putting gravel down onto topsoil is a bit of a waste.
     
  5. endecotp

    endecotp

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    In that case, please resist the temptation to spray everything with glyphosate! You will destroy lots of nice things before you even knew they were there. Wait for a full year so you’ve seen everything. Walk round every month or so and look at what is appearing and try to identify it.

    Please post a closeup of the Arum italicum; I can’t see it in the photo you posted, maybe it isn’t. Very many plants are somewhat poisonous; I don’t think this is significantly worse than many others. It does spread but not uncontrollably. It has the benefit of having attractive foliage when many other plants are dormant, and is attractive under shrubs or trees in places where grass will find it too dark.
     
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  6. sodthisforfun

    sodthisforfun

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    Please don't rotivate until you've killed the weeds - there are many which will grow back from just the smallest piece of root and you'll end up with it even worse. Alum, Ivy & bramble is hard to get rid of and will take several applications of weedkiller to make a dent and you may well have things like bindweed pop it's head up in the summer and even covering that won't kill it off - weedkiller is your friend with that too.

    Personally if you want a nice lawn for kids to play on, I'd start again if can afford to - take the whole lot up then lay fresh turf. It seems expensive to cover it all and then lay stones only to have the trouble of pulling it all up again down the line. I think too that you'll get more weeds grow on top of that because it won't take long with the leaves of the trees etc in your garden to rot down and giving new weeds somewhere to grow.

    Good luck, hope goes well. Nice size garden, will look fab once done!
     
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  7. HawkEye244

    HawkEye244

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    You're likely to cause a lot more damage to yourself and your family from the glyphosate than a poisonous plant living in the garden Glyphosate is highly mutagenic and carcinogenic. Even short term exposure can massively increase the risk of cancer. It's been banned in many developed countries. Your best option is to either mulch with organic matter or apply geotextile, either option will smother the weeds.
     
  8. cwhaley

    cwhaley

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    I echo this. Glyphosate is excellent stuff that I have used in the past and would use in the future but selectively and only when I know what I'm killing.

    Our garden was in a similar state when we moved in. Original owner of the home had passed away in the late '90s and subsequent owners had let the ivy, brambles, etc. go wild.

    Rather than dousing in a killer, I started the long and hard task of digging out rubbish and leveling. I was discovering all sorts of fantastic flowers and plants which were weak and sheltered, but are now thriving due to the new light and space. A lot of these plants had taken years to mature so I'd be careful.
     
  9. HawkEye244

    HawkEye244

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    Fair enough but why use it at all? Does such a potent chemical pesticide really have it's place in a home garden ?
     
  10. cwhaley

    cwhaley

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    In a controlled and targeted environment yes. I used it because it was quick and effective.

    The fact that it is potent for me swung the decision to buy it — the £5.99 branded on-shelf stuff just didn’t work.

    I do understand your sentiment though. I’m very eco-aware and love the outdoors (brought up walking the Derbyshire Dales).
     
  11. Dork Lard

    Dork Lard

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    Dork feels all of your pain.

    Dork inherited 15 acres of impenetrable weeds & found that nothing worked as good as Napalm.

    By God, it smells good in the mornings.
     
  12. HawkEye244

    HawkEye244

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    By why does it need to be quick and effective Whaley? Again, it's a home setup, so does it need to be rushed over in such a way ? Is it not a case of just pure laziness ?
     
  13. HawkEye244

    HawkEye244

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    Dork, you can work section by section , say 2 metre strips at a time, placing weed fabric cover and weighing it down with bricks. When you come back some weeks later the weeds you find underneath will have exhausted themselves looking for light making them easy to pull. Again, I fail to see the utility in using Glyphosate in a home garden.
     
  14. Dork Lard

    Dork Lard

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    Go forth & multiply you feckle smug excuse for a living being. Stick to your 12" plant pot on your single slab balcony & gather your vegan fwends around you when you crop your slug eaten lettuce.
     
  15. sodthisforfun

    sodthisforfun

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    No, not at all. Some weeds don't respond to covering up and waiting, and they quickly get out of hand. Bindweed for example has brittle roots so break easily when digging them up, and they will grow again from the smallest bit of root that has been left behind. Considering the root can go as far as 5 meters down, it's very hard to eradicate manually. It smothers other plants and quickly takes over - and doesn't respond very well to be covered.
    Just because you don't wish to use chemicals doesn't mean that you get to accuse others of being lazy.
     
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